15 June 2016:
Fresh from his excellent weekend at the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 in Catalunya, where he finished 5th and 3rd, Aspar Mahindra rider Albert Arenas has spoken about his season so far, his hopes for the season ahead, as well as his appearances in the MotoGP World Championship and the new gearbox on his MGP3O that he has been testing.
You had your best CEV JWC result of the year so far at the Circuit de Catalunya, what do you feel made the difference?
Yes, Catalunya was the best result of the season so far, but for me, nothing has changed. I’m adapting to a new team and bike and finding out what we are capable of as a team, and starting to push my potential, and the potential of the bike, to the limit. Obviously, improvements help, but there is still more to come from us I feel.
Did it help that you had just raced in Barcelona as a wildcard in the Moto3 race at MotoGP?
It definitely helped me, we had more time to prepare the bike, find the right setup and squeeze the maximum performance out of the MGP3O. It really helped us hit 100% competitiveness, and you need to be at that level to compete in these championships.
You have had two wildcard rides in MotoGP so far, is there a big difference between the two series?
Not really, the series are actually quite similar. The big difference is in tyre strategy and the rhythm at the beginning of each session. It's much faster at the start of a MotoGP session. But it's the same bikes and the standard of riders is very similar, so what it takes to win in both series is exactly the same.
Do you feel that the wildcard rides in MotoGP are important for your development as a rider?
Definitely. Like I said, being on a new bike this season means it’s always good to ride it as much as possible, and give yourself the best chance to get to know it. It's also an incredible chance to test yourself against the best young riders in MotoGP, so you can learn and improve.
As a Mahindra rider in the Junior World Championship you also have the responsibility for testing parts for Mahindra before they are homologated for the World Championship. Do you enjoy this role?
It's really amazing being a factory rider. It's the dream of every rider, and I like it. It's good to know that a factory of people is working to guarantee you better performance on the bike. While testing new parts is obviously not always 100% successful, it's good to be able to provide feedback to the factory, as you know that can help them improve the bike and help you get good results
In Barcelona you raced with a new Mahindra gearbox. Do you feel that this contributed to your result?
It really helped me, particularly because it allows me to focus more on braking and steering. I no longer have to think about if I will get the gear when downshifting or if it'll jump gears in fast corners. This has made it so much easier to concentrate on squeezing the maximum out of the bike and my own performance.
What are the main differences with the new gearbox?
The biggest difference is most noticeable under heavy braking. When you start to change down, the box is really smooth and fast. It also seems to be extremely reliable, it never fails when you change gears, and you can use all of the acceleration without wasting any time at all.
About Mahindra Racing
In 2016, Mahindra Racing is competing as a constructor in its fifth year in the Moto3TM class of MotoGPTM and remains the only Indian constructor in the series, having first participated in 2011. Mahindra Racing supplies the Mahindra MGP3O single-cylinder, 4-stroke, 250cc motorcycle to the factory Aspar Mahindra Team and three customer teams. Mahindra also supplies an official Peugeot Motocycles derivative of the MGP3O to the factory Peugeot MC Saxoprint Team.
The 2016 Mahindra Racing line-up includes: Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3 - Jorge Martin (SPA), Francesco Bagnaia (ITA); Peugeot MC Saxoprint - Albert Arenas (SPA), John Mcphee (GB); Platinum Bay Real Estate - Marcos Ramirez (SPA), Darryn Binder (RSA); CIP-Unicom Starker- Fabio Spiranelli (ITA), Tatsuki Suzuki (JPN); 3570 Team Italia - Stefano Valtulini (ITA), Lorenzo Petrarca (ITA).
Mahindra Racing made history in the 2013 Malaysian Grand Prix taking the first-ever podium for an Indian constructor. The MGP3O recorded top-five finishes in 10 of the 17 rounds in 2013 as well as a pole position, three circuit lap records and third in the constructors' rankings. The 2014 season saw a further three podium finishes for the Indian motorcycle, including second place at the Sachsenring. In 2015, the Mahindra regularly fought at the front of the ultra-competitive Moto3TM class and recorded a podium finish at Le Mans.
2016 got off to a strong start for Mahindra Racing with Aspar Mahindra Team Moto3 rider Francesco (Pecco) Bagnaia securing a third place podium finish at the opening round in Qatar. The podiums continued in Jerez and Mugello before Pecco made history with victory in Assen, Mahindra's first in the World Championship. It was a historic day for everyone involved and proved the high level performance capabilities of the MGP3O. As well as its commitment in the World Championship, Mahindra continues to supply MGP3O machines to Team Aspar to compete in World Championship feeder series, the FIM CEV Repsol Moto3 Junior World Championship in 2016.
Mahindra's bold decision to take on the world's best at the highest level of motorcycle racing has won the team a number of prestigious awards in India, including: the NDTV Car and Bike Awards - 'Mobil 1 Motorsport Award of the Year', 2012 and 2013; the Bike India Magazine - 'Motorsport Award', 2013; and 'ZigWheels Motorsport Award of the Year', 2012. Mahindra also won ‘Racing Bike of the Year' at the Zeeignition Auto Awards, 2016.
For further information please visit: www.mahindraracing.com.
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